I saw the following Muslim claim about the Bible. I decided to post my responses here.
The Muslim claims and my responses:
(1) “The Bible was too poorly written to have been inspired by God.”
This is a statement of opinion not based on fact.
(2) “It doesn’t take a lot of linguistic knowledge to assess the Bible’s literary quality as being deficient when compared to many books and novels of a secular nature.”
Again, a statement of opinion, mistaken at that, not fact.
In graduate school, I took all the linguistic courses available at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. I might know a tiny bit about linguistics. In my belief and understanding about linguistics, I consider your assertion to be unfounded.
It is not a legitimate criticism to compare the Bible to “many books and novels of a secular nature.” The Bible must be understood in the light of its purpose as well as in the light of the background culture of the authors who wrote it.
(3) “This is a problem for Christianity because it claims that the Bible was inspired if not fully dictated by a supreme being who by default must have writing skills superior to what any human could ever attain.”
I have no problem believing in the divine verbal inspiration of the Bible. I have been studying this subject since 1954. I have a personal print library of many scholarly books written about this subject. I have studied those books for well over half a century. The evidence presented in these books is overwhelming and irrefutable. Besides what men may say about the Bible, we have the record of what God says about the Bible. I will take His word over yours.
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
King James Version
Though the Bible is the inspired Word of God, God employed the varied writing styles of the individual authors to convey His truth to us. This does not imply nor does it require dictation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
But you or your unidentified source is correct that what is written in the Bible is beyond what any unassisted human writer could ever attain.
Only the Bible records detailed predictions of future events which have been proven to come true exactly as predicted. Accurate predictive prophecy is something human beings have not succeeded in providing, but it is found in the Bible.
(4) “Millions of evangelicals and other Christian fundamentalists believe that the Bible was dictated by God to men who acted essentially as human transcriptionists. If that were the case, one would have to conclude that God is a terrible writer. Many passages in the Bible would get kicked back by any competent editor or writing professor, kicked back with a lot of red ink—often more red than black.”
Such claims against the Bible are mere nonsense. As for competent editors and writing professors, some have appointed me to these very positions. In my judgment, any editors or writing professors who would take such a stance against the Bible would merely be displaying their ignorance of the Bible.
(5) “Mixed messages, repetition, bad fact-checking, awkward constructions, inconsistent voice, weak character development, boring tangents, contradictions, passages where nobody can tell what the heck the writer meant to convey. This doesn’t sound like a book that was dictated by a deity.”
Anyone making such claims against the Bible is simply displaying their ignorance of the Bible.
I have frequently told my students that their criticisms of great literature, whether Shakespeare or the Bible, reveal more about themselves than the work of literature they think they are criticizing.
(6) “A well-written book should be clear and concise, with all factual statements accurate and characters neither two-dimensional nor plagued with multiple personality disorder—unless they actually are. A book written by a god should be some of the best writing ever produced.”
All factual statements in the Bible have been proven accurate. Only the Bible, among all written records and documents from ancient times that have survived to our time, gets the precise details of the ancient history it records exactly right, down to the very spelling of the names of ancient kings and kingdoms. See the writings of Dr. Robert Dick Wilson on this subject, as one excellent scholar who presents a vast amount of evidence to buttress his claims.
The Bible surely is the best writing ever produced as judged by those competent to make such a judgment.
(7) “Why does the Bible so fail to meet this mark? One obvious answer, of course, is that neither the Bible nor any other books . We humans may yearn for advice that is “god-breathed,” but in reality, our sacred texts were written by fallible human beings, who try as they might, fell short of perfection in the ways we all do.”
It looks like your copy-and-paste of your unacknowledged source is defective in this section.
But the general claim can be discerned. I disagree with the claim for it is unconvincing in terms of my knowledge and experience.
(8) “The textual quality of the Bible is there for anyone to judge, and the most objective reviews indicate that it is inferior to that produced by thousands of merely human authors. This is conclusive evidence that the Bible was not inspired, much less dictated, by a supernatural being.”
This paragraph was certainly written by someone not truly acquainted with the Bible or the many evidences that prove it to be divinely inspired. I knew this much when I was a teenager and wrote my senior English research paper on this very subject. I have posted my research paper on my own website earlier this year.